Special Issue "Intermodal Transportation and Sustainable Mobility"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Transportation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Sabine Limbourg
Website
Guest Editor
HEC-ULiège, Université de Liège, Rue Louvrex, 14 - Bât N1 - BE-4000 Liège, Belgium
Interests: transport and logistics; distribution management; sustainable logistics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Transportation contributes to economic efficiency and social progress, but is also responsible for negative environmental impacts. Therefore, it is under pressure to reduce its environmental footprint and fossil fuel energy consumption. To face the challenge of sustainability and demand increase, intermodal transport has attracted wide interest in the scientific and political community. Intermodal transport pertains to both passenger and freight systems. It combines several modes which allows the integration of several transportation networks. It may enhance overall performance through consolidation and by using more environmentally friendly modes. As air, water, and land transport modes are at different stages of their development (driverless vehicles, interconnection between vehicles, drones, hyperloop, etc.), the challenges of intermodal transportation and sustainable mobility change continuously as the opportunities to improve them.

The topics of interest include, but are not restricted to:

  • Sustainability of transport systems and policies;
  • Integration of new technology or vehicle;
  • Network design and planning;
  • Service network design;
  • Vehicle routing, scheduling, and dispatching;
  • Innovative multimodal mobility services (public transport, vehicle sharing, etc.);
  • Multimodal real time traveler information;
  • Innovative transport systems for urban areas and urban freight transport;
  • Integrated planning of people and freight transportation systems.

Prof. Dr. Sabine Limbourg
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Intermodal Transport
  • Sustainable Mobility
  • Sustainable Logistics
  • Urban Freight Transport
  • Urban Mobility

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Container Loading Optimization in Rail–Truck Intermodal Terminals Considering Energy Consumption
Sustainability 2019, 11(8), 2383; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11082383 - 22 Apr 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Rail–truck intermodal terminals are an important type of dry port and play a vital role in inland freight transport. This paper addresses the container loading problem in rail–truck intermodal terminals considering energy consumption under the sustainability concept. We analyze the effect factors of [...] Read more.
Rail–truck intermodal terminals are an important type of dry port and play a vital role in inland freight transport. This paper addresses the container loading problem in rail–truck intermodal terminals considering energy consumption under the sustainability concept. We analyze the effect factors of energy efficiency for container loading operations and develop an optimization model to minimize the total handling time and container reshuffling. A genetic algorithm is designed to obtain the optimal container loading sequence. Computational experiments on a specific Chinese rail–truck intermodal terminal were conducted to evaluate the performance of our approach. Results show our approach has a good performance for different sizes, and the total handing time, reshuffling times and energy consumption of the handling task are prominently decreased. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intermodal Transportation and Sustainable Mobility)
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Open AccessArticle
Innovation in Road Freight Transport: Quantifying the Environmental Performance of Operational Cost-Reducing Practices
Sustainability 2019, 11(8), 2212; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11082212 - 12 Apr 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Road transportation is a key mode of transport when it comes to ensuring the hinterland connection of most European ports. Constrained by low profit margins and having to be active in a highly competitive market, companies active in this sector seek multi-dimensional innovative [...] Read more.
Road transportation is a key mode of transport when it comes to ensuring the hinterland connection of most European ports. Constrained by low profit margins and having to be active in a highly competitive market, companies active in this sector seek multi-dimensional innovative solutions that lower their operational costs. These innovative initiatives also yield positive environmental effects. The latter however are poorly recognized. This paper investigates the characteristics of different types of chassis used to transport containers from and to the terminals in the port areas and looks into the details of operational planning practices. It analyses the cost-effectiveness of these innovative solutions highlighting both the costs and the environmental emissions they save. Transport data from a road hauler serving the hinterland connection of a port in Western Europe is used to build up a case study. Results show that by using special types of chassis, which enable the combination of transport tasks in round-trips, the operational costs are reduced by 25% to 35%, and equally the CO2 emissions are also decreased by 34% to 38%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intermodal Transportation and Sustainable Mobility)
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Open AccessArticle
Federation and Orchestration: A Scalable Solution for EU Multimodal Travel Information Services
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 1888; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11071888 - 29 Mar 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Multimodal travel planning services allow travelers to plan their journey by combining different transport modes: air, rail, waterborne, coach, public transport, demand responsive transport, walking, cycling, etc. The European Union is fostering the development of cross-border multimodal planning services by establishing a regulation [...] Read more.
Multimodal travel planning services allow travelers to plan their journey by combining different transport modes: air, rail, waterborne, coach, public transport, demand responsive transport, walking, cycling, etc. The European Union is fostering the development of cross-border multimodal planning services by establishing a regulation framework for their coordinated and coherent deployment across Member States (under the Directive 2010/40/EU). This EU regulation gives precise requirements on travel data formats (DATEX II, SIRI, NeTEx, etc.) and on fundamental and recommended system-level services, such as discovery and linking services. However, it does not (yet) pose constraints on how to implement them. In this paper, we devise and test a system architecture, named Bonvoyage, which proposes an innovative solution implementing such services. For discovery purposes, it federates nation-wide NoSQL databases that contain travel information by exploiting a novel telecommunication paradigm, Information Centric Networking. As regards linking purposes, it orchestrates the use of autonomous monomodal or multimodal routing services provided by small/big stakeholders to compose the best door-to-door journey. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intermodal Transportation and Sustainable Mobility)
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Open AccessArticle
Should I Stay or Should I Go? Assessing Intermodal and Synchromodal Resilience from a Decentralized Perspective
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1765; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061765 - 23 Mar 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Synchromodal transport incorporates real-time events in a dynamic manner in order to facilitate the most suitable selection of modes, routes and handling points. Up until now, current assessments rely on analytical models. Most of these models average distances for barges and trains via [...] Read more.
Synchromodal transport incorporates real-time events in a dynamic manner in order to facilitate the most suitable selection of modes, routes and handling points. Up until now, current assessments rely on analytical models. Most of these models average distances for barges and trains via route mapping platforms that provide realistic distances for road only. To reflect on real-world developments more accurately, new thinking and modelling approaches are necessary to bridge academic models with physical transport processes. This paper introduces a computational model which computes movements of agents in geographically referenced space. The model captures stochastic parallel processes for each mode, and simulates decentralized delivery performance of each order in terms of cost, time and emissions at an operational level. Furthermore, we study the routing of individual orders and their responsiveness to disruptions. Computational experiments are performed within a case study which concerns imports of retail goods by unimodal truck transport from France to Belgium. Our findings show that dynamic synchromodal solutions cope with disturbances better, but unnecessary deviations and pro-activeness can also lead to negative effects when compared to static intermodal solutions Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intermodal Transportation and Sustainable Mobility)
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Open AccessArticle
Integration of Urban Freight Innovations: Sustainable Inner-Urban Intermodal Transportation in the Retail/Postal Industry
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1749; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061749 - 22 Mar 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Urban population growth has permanently increased the commodity demands and freight flow within urban areas. The retail/postal industry is intent on finding appropriate internal approaches and a new business model to respond to the adverse impacts generated by urban freight activities. Usage of [...] Read more.
Urban population growth has permanently increased the commodity demands and freight flow within urban areas. The retail/postal industry is intent on finding appropriate internal approaches and a new business model to respond to the adverse impacts generated by urban freight activities. Usage of emerging transport modes is an efficient solution for these industries. Nevertheless, considerable research has paid less attention to the implementation status of distribution innovations, as well as to their suitability and application restrictions. Concurrently, a comprehensive consideration of various distribution innovations that operate together as a system is lacking. To this end, this paper adopted a literature review method and GE multifactorial analysis. Specifically, this paper reviewed the related articles that were published in the past six years (2013–2018) to define the concept of distribution innovations. In addition, we adopted the approach of GE multifactorial analysis to analyze the application status of distribution innovations from the perspective of academic research and company implementation. Following the suitability assessment and application of restriction analysis, we proposed the concept of sustainable inner-urban intermodal transport (SIUIT) for the retail/postal industry. This paper contributes to the sustainable urban freight literature by exploring possible future research directions of SIUIT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intermodal Transportation and Sustainable Mobility)
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Open AccessArticle
Intermodal Container Routing: Integrating Long-Haul Routing and Local Drayage Decisions
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1634; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061634 - 18 Mar 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
Intermodal logistics service providers decide on the routing of demand through their service network. Long-haul routing decisions determine the selected departure and arrival terminals for containers and imply corresponding drayage tasks. Traditionally, given these long-haul routes and fixed drayage tasks, drayage operations are [...] Read more.
Intermodal logistics service providers decide on the routing of demand through their service network. Long-haul routing decisions determine the selected departure and arrival terminals for containers and imply corresponding drayage tasks. Traditionally, given these long-haul routes and fixed drayage tasks, drayage operations are planned in a second phase by establishing truck routes to transport containers to and from terminals by truck. In this paper, operational decisions on local drayage routing in large-volume freight regions with multiple terminals on the one hand, and intermodal long-haul routing on the other hand are merged into an integrated intermodal routing problem. Different long-haul routing decisions imply different drayage tasks to be performed and thus impact total trucking costs. The approach aims at reducing the number of road kilometres and increases bundling opportunities by maximising the long-haul capacity utilisation. In this way, it contributes to the modal shift towards intermodal transport and a more sustainable transport system. As a weekly planning horizon is used, a maximum daily active time and a minimum overnight’s rest are included for multi-day drayage routing. A large neighbourhood search heuristic is proposed to solve the integrated intermodal routing problem. This integrated planning approach provides decision support for routing customer orders throughout the intermodal network with the aim of minimising total transport costs and maximising capacity utilisation. Experiments show the added value of the integrated approach, which uses more information to make better-informed decisions and increase the capacity utilisation. The largest savings in trucking costs are obtained for clustered instances with demand characteristics closest to real-life cases. Finally, a real-life case study analyses the impact of tactical service network design decisions on the total operational costs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intermodal Transportation and Sustainable Mobility)
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Open AccessArticle
Methodology for Determining the Location of Intermodal Transport Terminals for the Development of Sustainable Transport Systems: A Case Study from Slovakia
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1230; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051230 - 26 Feb 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
A high-quality infrastructure and technical base is a vital factor in the development of intermodal transport in transport systems. Intermodal transport terminals are the most important component of a combined transport infrastructure, providing an essential connection between different modes of transport. This article [...] Read more.
A high-quality infrastructure and technical base is a vital factor in the development of intermodal transport in transport systems. Intermodal transport terminals are the most important component of a combined transport infrastructure, providing an essential connection between different modes of transport. This article deals with the issue of where to locate intermodal transport terminals within a transport network. In reality, this decision comes down to the potential of a particular location (e.g., an industrial park) and the critical role of private investors. These are mostly subjective factors, whereby little or no consideration is given to objective criteria. Within this context, it is extremely important that decisions are taken with regards to the development and construction of public networks, and economically neutral intermodal transport terminals by independent subjects are based on a non-discriminatory approach. In other words, it is essential that such terminals are built in places that comply with the stated priorities of the transport policy of a specific state. In this article, the author puts forward a method for determining the location of terminals that are based on the optimisation of several influential factors. The specified methodology is applied to a case study in Slovakia. The theoretical part of the article deals with the nature of the method to be applied. The discussion part involves a case study concerning the (potential) location of intermodal transport terminals in the Slovak Republic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intermodal Transportation and Sustainable Mobility)
Open AccessArticle
Could Biomass Derived Fuels Bridge the Emissions Gap between High Speed Rail and Aviation?
Sustainability 2019, 11(4), 1025; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11041025 - 16 Feb 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Aviation is a steadily growing sector, which largely contributes to transport greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. When High Speed Rail (HSR) and aviation are considered as alternative options, HSR proves to be a more environmentally friendly mode of transport. Public available data have been [...] Read more.
Aviation is a steadily growing sector, which largely contributes to transport greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. When High Speed Rail (HSR) and aviation are considered as alternative options, HSR proves to be a more environmentally friendly mode of transport. Public available data have been used in order to calculate the emission profiles on two selected intra-European routes (London–Paris and Frankfurt–Amsterdam) by HSR and air. As expected, the air mode results in higher GHG emissions and solutions for mitigating its impact have been analyzed and suggested. Biomass Derived Fuels (BDF) has a limited, up to now, potential, to fill the existing gap in terms of emissions with rail. Moreover, BDF reduction in GHG emissions is accompanied with by an increase in fuel cost. Finally, the cost per tonne of avoided CO2e by using BDF—which values 186 €/t—has been compared with the prices of the European Union (EU) Emission Trading System (ETS) allowances and, from a purely economic perspective, this market based measure still seems a preferable option to curb the GHG emissions of the air mode. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intermodal Transportation and Sustainable Mobility)
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Open AccessArticle
Grocery Delivery or Customer Pickup—Influences on Energy Consumption and CO2 Emissions in Munich
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 641; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030641 - 26 Jan 2019
Abstract
The number of supermarkets offering grocery delivery has increased in recent years. Many studies conclude that CO2 emission savings result from this concept. Since the delivery of groceries also consumes energy and produces emissions, break-even points can be calculated, where the delivery [...] Read more.
The number of supermarkets offering grocery delivery has increased in recent years. Many studies conclude that CO2 emission savings result from this concept. Since the delivery of groceries also consumes energy and produces emissions, break-even points can be calculated, where the delivery is environmentally beneficial compared to customer pickup. In this paper, influences of differing vehicle use on break-even points for savings of energy and CO2 emissions are analyzed for the case of Haidhausen Süd, a district in Munich, Germany. Internal combustion engine and electric vehicles are investigated to depict current as well as future trends. After an introduction to the methodology used, the potential to save energy and CO2 emissions related to the delivery of groceries in the chosen district of Munich are evaluated. Subsequently, influences on the break-even points are presented and discussed. As the results show, a delivery of groceries leads to energy and carbon dioxide savings in a wide range of private vehicle use for grocery shopping trips. Nevertheless, if the complete customer vehicle fleet is electrified, the use of delivery vehicles with an internal combustion engine could cause an additional environmental impact at the current modal split for shopping trips in Germany. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intermodal Transportation and Sustainable Mobility)
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Open AccessArticle
The Problem of Sustainable Intermodal Transportation: A Case Study of an International Logistics Company, Turkey
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4268; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114268 - 19 Nov 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
Environmental and social concerns force logistics firms to evaluate various risk factors for intermodal transportation systems. In this context, this paper takes into account economic, social, and ecological risk factors that have attracted considerable attention toward sustainable transportation. In this paper, the allocation [...] Read more.
Environmental and social concerns force logistics firms to evaluate various risk factors for intermodal transportation systems. In this context, this paper takes into account economic, social, and ecological risk factors that have attracted considerable attention toward sustainable transportation. In this paper, the allocation of export containers to transportation modes, by incorporating social and ecological risks with a main focus on the minimization of transportation costs, was examined. A mixed-integer-programming-based mathematical model was proposed to decide how the containers can be allocated to different transportation modes. In addition, a fuzzy-based approach was performed to determine the social and ecological risk weights of the transportation modes within the decision process. Each mode was evaluated with social risks (e.g., human accidents and deaths) and ecological risks (e.g., emission values and noise pollution) by decision makers via the assignment of numerical scores. The obtained results show that optimal transportation modes more economical and environmentally friendly were provided by the proposed methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intermodal Transportation and Sustainable Mobility)
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Open AccessArticle
Pricing Problems in Intermodal Freight Transport: Research Overview and Prospects
Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3341; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093341 - 18 Sep 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to consider the topic of pricing decisions in the context of intermodal transport as a subject of significant influence on intermodality’s success and the move towards environment friendly modes to bring about a European sustainable transport system. [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is to consider the topic of pricing decisions in the context of intermodal transport as a subject of significant influence on intermodality’s success and the move towards environment friendly modes to bring about a European sustainable transport system. We review the state of research in intermodal pricing from an Operational Research (OR) perspective as a subject with a vital link to energy consumption and sustainability assessment. In particular, we study freight transport within a revenue-maximizing perspective. Driven by the political incentives to enhance its challenged market position, we direct our discussion to the particular gap in optimization approaches that tackle service prices as explicit tactical decisions from the carriers’ point of view. A suggestion to utilize the bilevel programming framework in the present context is put forward, as well as an account of its widely successful application to similar hierarchical decision schemes. Different approaches to express the shippers’ behaviour—the potential intermodal transport customers—within the lower level problem are proposed, along with the modelling implications of different possible objectives as well as the multimodal network structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intermodal Transportation and Sustainable Mobility)
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